1 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.
2 O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!
3 Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.
4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
In reading this, I am made aware of something I had not understood as well as I do this moment. In general I am like a man in a bag who cannot see which way to go even when both ends are open. But, for a moment I see light.
The prophet cries out to God, I know your people are messed up, they are full of idols, they live in sin, they grieve your spirit in so much of their religious life. But I know you Oh Lord, you are kind and merciful, I know we deserve discipline and your judgment but what your saying is crazy talk, I cant believe it.
Your telling me that instead of lessening the wickedness and failure of your people by an act of Revival and deliverance...you sending the Babylonians? Seriously?
They are violent, they are cruel, their reputation for evil is spoken of everywhere. They kill because they love to do it, they get each other drunk just to look upon their nudity, then they worship their stones and sticks they call gods.
How could you possibly use something so vile...so way beyond what we have done and are to judge us?
It strikes me that this is our current condition in America. The Church in America loved and redeemed by God is being disciplined by God...and he's using the ungodly, far worse than us, far more insanely devoted to their own idols; but here we are suffering under worldliness, exploiters, cowards in the pulpit, hypocrites and two-faced men and women everywhere.
I for one have denounced every bit of this myself and yet I am in a measure culpable, in a measure at fault, in a measure the cause of declension that we all feel.
I am blind to God's discipline, I am ignorant of it, I take no notice of it upon myself or upon my brothers and sisters. I have comfortably blasted the lunatic left from my computer chair, I have with keen eye recognized the utter weakness of every failed philosophy offered to our young people and yet they turn not at my rebuke.
I wonder that the Church in America is being disciplined, and disciplined in a way that no one would chose. I would never chose the lunatic left to propagate 27 different genders, legislate murder of children in the 8th month.
But the Lunatic left are there because we Christians voted them in. We who are not liberal have said little with any real conviction that brought us into suffering. I know I have not.
It matters little if you are completely innocent of any wrong doing that would make you culpable, because you will suffer with those who are culpable. Habakkuk was no wicked man and had the hearing ear of God, yet his heart was to remain faithful while the Babylonians plundered, killed and enslaved a whole nation...all at God's hand because Israel was being disciplined-judged for their sins.
We are in the midst of judgment, we are in the midst of discipline, the decline of spirituality in our Churches, the decline of morality among ourselves, the decline of bible teaching radio stations, the decline of powerful men in the pulpit. I didn't say there were none, just fewer and fewer and so quieter and quieter our corporate voice becomes.
Millennials as we call them, vastly ignorant of the gospel, Christianity or Jesus at all. My generation is leading the pack of false teachers who for filthy lucre sake will sell anyone and anything for their advantage.
All of this is not be accident, it's not the unhappy convergence of events and people in a godless world. To the contrary, its the convergence of events and people in a God ruled world, God has issued his word and his word is being truly and actually carried out before our eyes, my eyes...who are so dim they barely see.
I am concerned I am bucking God's discipline, I am concerned for the sake of unity I am ignoring the elephant in the room...or Church auditorium for that matter that God is disciplining us and it's outcome though good for our souls is bad for our comfort and status quo.
I think I have spotted a forest of discipline, a forest of judgment where God is acting to cleanse and purify his people. God does this through our sufferings.
It may in the future become indiscernible, where our persecutors for the sake of their own hatred of the light, persecute and kill us, we being party to their worldly mindset for a time are now rebuked by it and suffer from those whom are under God's wrath themselves.
Suffering because of our sins and suffering because our enemies rejoice in destroying anything that has God's stamp on it may get very blurry and who can discern that?
At that point it's got to be more than 'who's to blame', but who we love and who we are committed to and will remain faithful to no matter what.
Hab 3: 16 When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops.
17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
No, it doesn't sound like revival, but as I see it, revival is on the other side of this discipline, it maybe that instead of hoping to avoid this discipline we face up to the fact it's not going away and our best hope is in God himself alone without the creature comforts and without the culture that shelters us storm. Comfort is replaced by storm and this is exactly the lesson of Habakkuk and a lesson for us as well.